Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen

Dr. Paul Gardner-Stephen is the man with the original idea for the software at the heart of The Serval Project, and is a co-founder of the project. He has always had an interest in telephony and social equity.  His experience as a computer systems administrator and C developer have equipped him to be what he describes as the digital version of a blacksmith, able to create useful items out of bits and bytes. He is also the Flinders University Research Fellow in Rural, Remote & Humanitarian Telecommunications. Dr. Gardner-Stephen is passionate about the opportunity that the Serval project offers in terms of enfranchising the poorest two billion who lack access to affordable telephony, if it is available to them at all.

Romana Challans

Romana is also a co-founder of The Serval Project. She is a software engineer, and helped found one not for profit group, ITShareSA, involved in recycling computer hardware towards low income individuals, groups, communities, and at times, other countries, using Open Source software. Her experience as Technical training Coordinator at Motorola Australia Sotware Centre, and her work as a freelance web designer, have added both corporate experience and an understanding of user interfaces. She is passionate about Open Source advocacy, and accessibility to technology, and all the advantages that it can bring, for all people regardless of location or economic situation. The ability to help in disaster zones is particularly imperative. She is excited to be part of a group of like minded and very talented people. There is a rumour that she wants to convert her wheelchair into a portable Mobile Phone Tower as a permanent proof of concept.

John Noonan

John is a management consultant, entrepreneur and business development professional with integrity and the ability to quickly identify opportunities and work with various partners to create win-win outcomes. John is an experienced team leader and motivator with broad business and technology experience. With formal qualifications in Law and Engineering, John is well regarded for service at Board and “C” level roles in startup companies in various markets including Mining, Construction, Infrastructure, Energy, Telecommunications, Information Technology and Oil and Gas. He is a specialist in two areas : Technology, (Experienced Engineering Adviser, Consultant and startup mentor), and in Business, (Entrepreneurial skills, Defining new markets & opportunities from scratch).

Jennifer Hampton

Jenny has 12 years of experience in software engineering and product development. Her roles have gained her experience in all phases of the software development lifecycle across testing, development and project management. Her project management experience in particular spans over 7 years. Jenny’s objective as a project manager is to deliver projects which achieve a high level of customer satisfaction in both the end product and the project execution. She, Paul, and Romana al attended Flinders University together. She and Romana went on to work at Motorola Australia Software Centre.

Corey Stewart

Corey was first exposed to the Internet in 1998 and discovered blogging in 2002 and as a professional musician started dabbling in web design and multimedia for his own projects. He then started designing websites for others in 2008. The Serval Project presents Corey with an opportunity to make a real difference in the world in ways that he could never imagine while, at the same time fully utilising his wealth of experience in all forms of web and multimedia design. This excites and inspires him as much as writing and performing his own music does.

Dany Rakotopara

Dany is an Honours student from France, who worked on The Serval Project software while studying at Flinders University, and is regarded by his colleagues as a gifted engineer, and as a great person to be around, and by the teen element of the testing at Arkaroola as ‘a really cool dude’. His work on the project earned both him, and the project,  a place as a finalist in The World Embedded Software Contest 2010. This project, run under the auspices of the South Korean Government, is an annual contest that selects excellent original works on embedded software and award prizes to them since 2003.

Susan Wiliams

Susan has an extensive background in finance, as well as degrees in Economics & Computer Science. She also attended Flinders University with Paul, Romana, & Jennifer. She has worked with a wide range of companies, from large companies, government bodies, and not for profits. Her financial expertise as Financial Officer is a real asset.

The Serval Cat

People have asked us often – what is the serval, and why did we choose this particular aimal for our project. Well, let us have a look at some of the characteristics of these amazing animals.

The serval is a medium-sized variation of an African wild cat, which shares many common traits with the cheetah. It lives mainly in savanna type regions, though it is remakably adaptable to different surroundings. Ithas long legs – longest of all cats for body size – and that allows it to jump – and run extremely fast,  with a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). It also has characteristic white tipped large ears with acute hearing – their long, almost bat shaped ears are used to detect the sound of movement, and they can pick up the ultrasonic high frequencies emitted by rodents and other small creatures. Patient, watchful, they have been known to stand up to 15 minutes at a time to listen for signal of their prey. Their ability to land precisely on target allows them to be among the most efficient of hunters, with far higher catch success rates than most cat species. They are highly intelligent, playful, and demonstrate what have been described as ‘remarkable problem solving skills’.

Given the aims and goals of our project, and how we expect the hardware to perform, surely it seems obvious that these wonderful creatures are the perfect symbol for such an endeavour.

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